Converting a terrace or part of a terrace into a small productive garden is an option that attracts more followers every day. For consumption purposes, its profitability is more economical than knowing exactly what you are eating. Moreover, based on experience, your own products (without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers) will taste better.
To create a good home garden, you must first choose a container with a depth of about 15 to 20 cm and good drainage. It is best to build your own from the wood on the pallet; although any elongated planter does work, it can hold a few seedlings. If it is made of clay, it will better regulate the temperature.
A small cradle is installed at the bottom of the “land” to leave a small hole so that the root can get oxygen. Here, it can replace soil, and can be filled with substrate and vegetable compost, which is much more fertile. You can buy it in the nursery, but you can also ask for some fertilizer from the stable, or place it in your own home with the ground and buried vegetables.
The location of the planter is key, because if you want to produce fruit, you must have at least five hours of light (if it is a winter crop), and if it is summer, you must be in the sun all day.
What’s the growth?
All plants are different. From autumn to spring, lettuce, chard and spinach (and summer varieties) are easier to grow on urban terraces. And pepper, in summer. Tomatoes are grown in the spring, but they are complex and vulnerable to pests, although tomatoes of the “cherry” and Perita varieties perform better in such confined spaces. You can also try zucchini, eggplant, cucumber and beans. Almost all nurseries buy seedlings.
You must understand the life cycle of each product and the space required. There are plenty of guides on paper and on the Internet. For example, lettuce can shed leaves as it grows from the outside to the inside, but its roots must be cut off after 45 to 60 days, because they will “rise”, that is, they will grow up and can no longer grow. Are eaten (they have a bitter taste).
Irrigation should be more frequent than field irrigation. A simple technique for creating a basic drip irrigation system. Very fine holes are drilled in the carafe. If it is done manually, the frequency will depend on the time of year, but in summer, it must be done once a day (or more if there is land). It is important to be careful when pouring water to avoid splashing, as this will lose the substrate and expose the roots. To avoid evaporation, you can spread a layer of straw or bark on the ground.
It is recommended to collect and use rainwater as much as possible. Rainwater is much richer than water from a tap.
Although the soil is ready to provide nutrients, it must not be forgotten that plants need minerals to grow, especially phosphorus, nitrogen, potassium, and magnesium, as well as iron and copper. These can be provided through ecological fertilizers to avoid chemicals. You can use manure, worm compost, these manure is made through recycling (industrial or homemade) and bird droppings, which are sold in the nursery.
Pests are likely to invade the garden, and again they can be controlled without artificial products. Aphids can be treated by brushing the leaves and spraying a mixture of water and household soap. There are also natural insecticides, such as pyrethrins.
For fungi such as powdery mildew, the diseased leaves must be removed, and sulphur should be sprinkled in severe cases. Some aromatic plants, such as lavender, rosemary and sage, can be used as protective agents. It is also good because it has a dual purpose-cooking and defense-spreading basil, mint and thyme. If you walk this far, you can taste salads or stir-fries made from harvested fruits.
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